Peter: Rest well boys, for in the morning you will have a mother again.
Alex Curran Supervising Producer: So instead of assuming everyone lived happily ever after East of Kensington explores the other option.
A nearly twenty-minute short film that took two years to finish, East of Kensington was made by a band of students from "Chapman University Dodge College Of Film And Media Arts" about the childhood icon Peter Pan. In this story the students worked to show some of the darker aspects of the J.M. Barrie tale that often gets forgotten about, handwaved, or ignored in other adaptations by taking a more realistic approach.
Years after Peter Pan and the Lost Boys have overthrown the pirates, Peter visits London to return Wendy to Neverland and is kidnapped by a mysterious Stranger residing in the decaying remains of the Darling House. Peter is forced to confront a harsh reality that challenges his innocence.
The Indiegogo Promo can be watched here.
The bloopers for the promo can be watched here.
The trailer for the film can be seen here.
This film provides examples of:
- Alternate Universe: Multiple things separate this work from the original story, any cartoon/television show, movie, or play.
- Ambiguous Ending: It's left ambiguous whether or not Peter can still fly. However, if the answer is no then it makes it even more of a downer ending.
- Ambiguous Innocence: Like the book, children can fly and go to Neverland as long as they are happy, innocent, and heartless.
- Bedlam House: Where Wendy was sent to during Peter's absence.
- Berserk Button:
- Peter freaks out when Michael accidentally puts Tink on her death bed.
- It's briefly shown that Peter is protective of the Darling family as a whole. It's notable that he values Wendy the most, for obvious reasons.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Except Peter doesn't believe anymore. At least not enough.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The Mysterious Stranger rips off one of Tink's wings.
- Character Development: This is possibly the most depressing Coming-of-Age Story out there.
- Children Are Innocent: Combined with Children Are Cruel and a sprinkle of Troubling Unchild Like Behavior. According to Peter the innocence of a child's mind is the reason they can fly and adults can not.Grownups carry the weight of knowledge, their minds are too heavy for flight.
- Darker and Edgier: It's darker than the original story, which already had dark themes.
- Deconstruction Fic: Shows just what would realistically happen to the Darling family after Wendy, John, and Michael return home. Wendy went on and on about Peter and Never Never Land to her parents which led them to send her to a therapist, which escalated further until she ended up in an asylum. John forced himself to forget and Michael was driven mad from having to watch all this happen.
- Despair Event Horizon: The ending for Peter.
- Downer Ending: Big time.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Wendy has these, due to being locked in an asylum and having John die.
- Forgotten Childhood Friend:
- Peter is apparently this for John.
- It's implied that Peter forgot about Wendy until Tootles found the the thimble she gave him.
- Empty Promise: Imaginary Wendy does this for Imaginary-Young Michael.
- Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Peter experiences this a few times, albeit briefly.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Oddly enough Peter is briefly implied to be this when he imagines kissing Wendy.
- Hot-Blooded: Peter, still.
- Hope Spot: Peter finds Tink, great! Wait, Michael found them too. He pushes Peter, cue the shattering of glass.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Michael and in the end Peter.
- If I Can't Have You...: Non-romantic version, and it's left ambiguous whether The Mysterious Stranger had this reaction over Peter or Never Land itself.
- Ironic Echo:
- "They say, "Night lights are the eyes a mother leaves behind to guard her children as they sleep." As for your night light..." Michael than proceeds to rip one of Tink's wings off.
- "Boy, why are you crying?"
- "Grownups carry the weight of knowledge, their minds are too heavy for flight."
- The famous "I do, I do, I do believe in fairies!" is changed to "I want to believe in fairies."
- Irony: It's Peter's childlike imagination that leads to him learning how to sympathize, regret his actions, and come to terms with the fact that he caused the Darling family pain.
- Intended Audience Reaction: The reason Tink had her wing plucked and ultimately dies was to show the audience the seriousness of the situation. During an interview one of the students state that they got mail saying "You can't do that to Tink!"
- It's All My Fault: What Peter realizes by the end of the film.
- Killed Off for Real: Captain Hook is flat out stated to be dead. Tink and (supposedly) Wendy are dead or confirmed dead by the end of the short.
- Given Michael's age the Darling parents are most likely dead as well.
- The Mentally Disturbed: The Mysterious Stranger.
- Mood Whiplash: Starts with a happy yet somber opening of the Darling children going home. We then get a scene of Lost Boy tomfoolery. Then we kick off the plot of Peter returning to get Wendy and it all goes down hill from there.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: The people in charge of Wendy's therapy are implied to be this.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- The Mysterious Stranger has a moment of this when he causes Peter to drop the jar Tink is in and it shatters.
- Peter upon finding out how much pain he's caused the Darling family.
- Not So Different: When you get down to it the Mysterious Stranger just wants to be a boy and have fun.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Everything is indirectly Peter's fault.
- Parental Abandonment: The Darling parents left their children, sparing John supposedly.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Michael has this reaction to Peter getting up and walking away.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: The opening shows Wendy and her brothers are a wee bit older than how they're depicted in most other adaptations. Wendy is very clearly a teenager (usually a preteen), John a preteen (usually a child) and Michael a child (usually a toddler).
- Peter himself seems to be a round-faced teen giving his age an ambiguous feel.
- The Promise: The film deconstructs what happens if you don't keep promises.
- Psychopathic Man Child: The Mysterious Stranger who turns out to be Michael.
- Reality Ensues: Arguably the whole point of the film.
- Room Full of Crazy: Where The Mysterious Stranger takes Peter to inform him about what happened to Wendy and reveal that he is in fact Michael.
- Say My Name: Combined with Big "NO!" when The Mysterious Stranger rips off one of Tink's wings.
- Serial Escalation: What happened to both Wendy and Tink.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: The entire Neverland segment with the lost boys (and the one before that where the Darling children return home, which is rather sad) is missing from the Youtube version. While light on mood, the Neverland segment is actually integral as it gives Peter a reason to go back for Wendy in the first place.
- Shout-Out: Possibly unintentional, but Tink looks like a yellow Navi.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Like many adaptions Tink lives, until the very end.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Peter briefly has a look cross his face implying he feels bad for The Mysterious Stranger.
- Team Dad: Peter, in his own odd little way, is still this to the lost boys.
- Team Mom: Peter's imagination makes a very big, if subtle, deal at pointing this trait out in Wendy.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Both Peter and The Mysterious Stranger give emotional ones to each other.
- The Reveal: The Mysterious Stranger is actually Michael.
- Wham Line:
- "I want to believe in fairies." said by Peter's imaginary Wendy, symbolizing what is apparently Peter's first steps into adulthood as the sentence is actually coming from Peter.
- Earlier, "Not me Peter, you."
- Whispering Ghosts: Non-supernatural guilt induced version. You can only properly hear one line."You made a mistake."
- Vague Age: Peter's actor looks like he could be anywhere between 12 to 16.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- The Mysterious Stranger freaks out when he finds out he can't go to Never Land, so he rips one of Tink's wings off.
- He freaks out again when Peter tries to leave, and this time he, unintentionally, puts Tink on her death bed.